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Sterling Heights

June 14, 2013

SterlingFAST races for the starting line

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

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SterlingFAST races for the starting line
Matt Gysel, of Sterling Heights, rides along a Dodge Park bike path June 13. The SterlingFAST 5k Fun Run & Walk will take place July 27 at Dodge Park, and part of the event’s proceeds will benefit local trails and paths.

A fleet-footed fundraiser to promote local art and trails will make its debut at this year’s Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair, according to city officials.

The first-ever SterlingFAST 5k Fun Run & Walk will begin on the morning of July 27 at Dodge Park in Sterling Heights. City spokesman Steve Guitar called the upcoming event an exciting one and said he hopes it grows every year.

“We’ve always tried to add something different every year,” he said. “We thought it’d be a nice addition to do some kind of run.”

Officials say the run and walk participants will move along Utica Road, reach the Sterling Heights Nature Center, cross the river and then take the trail system to the finish line. Prizes will be given to top performers in different age and gender categories.

After the event, runners and walkers may look forward to food, live entertainment, arts and crafts, a midway and more.

Race Director Joe Burns said his wife sits on the Sterling Heights Cultural Commission, which was looking for ways to fund more artwork for the city’s common grounds.

“So I had mentioned to them in the past that it’d be kind of a fun idea to add a little 5k race to the Sterlingfest, and we could use some of the funds raised for the artwork,” he said.

In addition, Burns said, a portion of the event proceeds will be used to improve and keep up the Clinton River Park Trail and the Dodge Park-Clinton River Trails System.

Burns said they are currently trying to recruit runners and get applications out. He said that in the first week and a half of registration, the event has gained close to 65 participants.

“(The course is) flat and fast,” he said. “It’s all runner-friendly, so there’s no dirt trails involved. It’s down the road, and we’re taking some asphalt paths back to the main part. … It’s an easy course to run; it’s an easy course to walk. And we hope we get as many walkers as we do runners.”

The inaugural SterlingFAST 5k Fun Run & Walk will begin at 9 a.m. July 27 at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road, in Sterling Heights.

To register, visit www.sterling fast5k.com or www.active.com. Only 1,000 runners will be allowed to compete. The first 125 who sign up will pay $25 to register. Everyone else may sign up for $28 by July 13 or $30 by July 26. Runners who commit by July 14 will get a shirt.

Learn more about Sterlingfest at www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.